“Everyone, raise your heads.”
Helios’ calm voice was prefaced by a sigh.
The palace’s servants exchanged glances, then carefully raised their heads and looked between him and Sera.
With Rosé and Ferre buried in Sera’s skirt, they also raised their heads and looked up at Helios.
“Whatever you imagined just now.”
A smile, which expressed just how preposterous he thought this was, rose over his features.
“It never happened.”
He glanced at the head maid then at the handmaid.
“Yes, Your Majesty, of course.
We didn’t see anything.
I’ll make sure that no one speaks of this.”
The head maid and the handmaid bowed to Helios once more.
They likewise bowed in silence towards Sera.
Saying you didn’t see anything wasn’t the same as saying that you understand what he’s saying.
Helios glanced back at Sera with a look of disbelief.
His pink face revealed just how embarrassed he still was by this situation.
Frustrated by the outcome, he rubbed his face with one hand again.
He didn’t know how far he needed to go to explain himself, but he just didn’t want to hurt Sera.
“We were waiting for a carriage.
We dozed off.
I ordered for clothes and shoes to be brought because Miss Popo was uncomfortable.
We don’t have that kind of relationship.
He was just telling the truth.
But even as he said that with his own lips, the word ‘never’ stabbed at his own heart.
* * *
‘I can’t believe I’m here even for breakfast.’
At the dining room of the main palace, breakfast was in session with Rosé, Ferre, Helios and Sera.
She took a quick bath, washed her face with cold water and all that, but it still didn’t quite hit her that she was staying for brunch.
Rosé and Ferre were still disheveled in their nightwear.
Helios was also still in his loose shirt from earlier.
They ended up in this situation because Ferre went up in arms while saying that he was hungry.
Even so, during this late Sunday morning, she was somehow struck with the thought that they seemed like an ordinary family having a late breakfast together after sleeping in a little.
However, it’s true that this was too extravagant of a meal for an ordinary family.
Each serving of soup had a whole lobster in it, and seeing this made Sera realize just who exactly the people around her were.
“We’re having breakfast with Sera! Yay!”
“Yeah! I wish we can have breakfast with Sera and Oppa everyday! No— I just want Sera to live in the palace.
Right, Heli Oppa”
Rosé shouted ecstatically with a spoon in one hand.
In response, both Helios and Sera covered their mouths and cleared their throats.
“By the way, Your Highness Ferre.
What happened to you that you were in that state earlier You were fine when I tucked you in bed last night.”
Sera felt it in her bones that Rosé was about to say something weird again.
So, she quickly changed the topic.
It was the same question Helios was about to ask.
Setting down his spoon and wiping his lips with a napkin, Helios turned to face Ferre as well.
As Ferre felt Helios’ gaze, he scratched the back of his head.
“It’s okay, Ferre.
I won’t scold you.
Helios gave a gentle smile.
“Really Promise Hyung”
Helios didn’t know what Ferre ate wrong, but Miss Popo was here anyway to scold him.
Helios and Sera exchanged a furtive glance.
“When we were with Aushuvel Hyung, we ate some ice cream.”
Helios didn’t know that.
Faced with a warm, gentle gaze, Ferre told the truth.
He smiled cutely and patted his round belly with his small hands.
“Ah, right! We ate ice cream.”
Rosé also nodded as though she just recalled.
“We ate some when Heli Hyung went looking for Sera.
Aushuvel Hyung suddenly asked us if we want to eat ice cream.
You know, no one asked me that before.
And, oh, Rosé.”
Ferre turned to the side and looked at Rosé.
“You did, too, right You also said we should hurry.”
Rosé just saw that Aushuvel Oppa was in a hurry, and she had a hunch that she should follow.
She averted her eyes and stared at the distant mountain beyond the windows.
“I didn’t mean to eat some.
Ferre murmured while pouting, and with an expression that said he did nothing wrong.
But there’s one odd thing about this.
Sera thought so as she quietly took spoonfuls of soup and listened to Ferre’s story.
She stared at him.
His stomach was so weak that he really would usually get stomachaches easily, but just one scoop couldn’t have been enough to incapacitate him like that earlier.
He didn’t snack on ice cream all that often, but he never had such a big stomachache like he had today.
“It’s not just one scoop, right”
Narrowing her eyes, Sera looked pointedly at Ferre.
“You ate a lot, not just one scoop, right”
You said I won’t be scolded!
Ferre turned his pleading gaze towards his older brother, wordlessly crying out, ‘You promised!’
But Helios just grinned and shook his head.
“You can’t lie,” Sera warned.
“Uh… uhh… huh”
“Your Highness Ferre.
If you lie, not just your nose will get long, but also your ears will get huge.”
“But you said before that my nose will never become long! Sera!”
Ferre cried out in a hurry.
Watching from the sidelines, Rosé giggled as though she found this funny.
“Then your ears can get huge, Your Highness.”
With haunting flashbacks of the last Pinocchio incident, Ferre grew terrified.
He kept repeating, ‘No way, no way,’ as he looked at Sera with eyes that had doubled in size.
However, the blue eyes that glinted back after catching him in his lie would never let him off the hook.